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The Louvre, The World's Most Visited Museum With 10 Million Visitors A Year

The Hersch

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Speaking of the Louvre, museums and crowds: I can remember as a student in Paris in the 1970s being able to visit the Louvre and Jeu de Paume and walking right in without having to stand in line and leisurely enjoy the art in uncrowded rooms.  Twenty years later, you had to stand in a long line outside and wait to gain admission to the museum itself.  Once inside, your view of the artworks was seriously impeded by large tour groups of foreign tourists each videotaping the artwork, not even bothering to look at it with their actual eyes.  Sad. 


The only time I've been in the Louvre was I think in 1994. I have no idea what day of the week it was, or even what time of day, but my friend and I got in without waiting in line more than five minutes, and we wandered all over the place and found no crowds except about 200 people right in front of the Mona Lisa, which I had seen when it was on display at the National Gallery in Washington back whenever that was, in the late 60s I guess, and I have never quite understood the fuss over that painting anyway. I think the lack of crowds at the Louvre that day must have been some kind of fluke; I'd love to go back and find the museum that uncrowded.

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